Where Do Little Birds Go?
Brutal but humane one-woman play telling the true story of a kidnapping
This article is from 2015.
Based on the true story of Lisa Prescott, an 18-year-old girl kidnapped by the notorious Kray twins in London during the 1960s, the premise of Where Do Little Birds Go? is undoubtedly dark. In Camilla Whitehill's play, Prescott's story is channelled by the character Lucy Fuller, who is locked in the flat and used as the sex slave of Frank 'The Mad Axeman' Mitchell. Though wholly unnerving, this humane, often humorous one-woman play, is also full of light and shade, even as it explores delicate subjects such as sexual exploitation.
Jessica Butcher plays Fuller with authority, but there is a vulnerability to her performance which sharpens the tragedy of it all. She sings show tunes as she talks about her dreams of West End stardom and smiles at the audience as she admits that she'll settle for being a barmaid. But her quietly powerful portrayal illustrates that, underneath the bravado, Fuller is in pain and that a great injustice has been done to her.
The quality of Whitehill's writing is mirrored in Butcher's performance, both of which play out well against Justin Nardella's simple yet effective set of pub tables. Though brutal, and at times difficult to watch, this engaging work of theatre is not one you're likely to forget in a hurry.
Underbelly Cowgate, 0844 545 8252, until 30 Aug (not 17), 8.55pm, £10 (£9).